Brief abstracts of conference sessions will be listed here once the final program has been confirmed.
Title: Law Students and Global Mobility: Do international programs really develop students' intercultural skills?
Lead Presenter: Campbell, Catherine
Session Abstract: Student interest and demand for international experiences beyond their domestic degree is increasing in Australia. Short term mobility programs (STMPs) are usually from 2 – 6 weeks in duration and are preferred by students who are unable to complete longer term semester exchange programs. Students generally organise an internship or placement themselves with an overseas host organisation or undertake a study tour or program organised by their university or a third party provider. Many of the organised programs have a service-learning focus and the international internship hosts are often NGOs and social justice organisations. Globalisation emphasises the need for lawyers with intercultural skills and international experiences are highly regarded by employers. Students are increasingly seeking these STMP opportunities to develop their intercultural skills including understanding cultural differences, tolerance for other perspectives, improved communication skills and knowledge of global issues. However, the extent to which students actually develop these skills as learning outcomes from STMPs is unclear. This session will examine the results of empirical research conducted with QUT law students and their experiences of STMPs with a human rights or social justice focus in the Asia-Pacific region. We will consider factors which affect the quality of student experiences and impact on their learning including program design, types of experiences and assessment. Participants will consider Case Study examples of STMPs and discuss factors relevant to student learning outcomes. An overview of the research project will be provided and implications of this research discussed.
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